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Friday, December 1, 2023

Rabindranath Tagore’s statue reinstalled at Dhaka University campus as protest against draconian Digital Security Act

The sculpture of Rabindranath Tagore was reinstalled on the Dhaka University campus, after it was removed by authorities on Thursday and later vandalised.

The sculpture, which was installed on Tuesday but removed and vandalised, was reinstalled at the previous place, near the anti-violence Raju Sculpture on Saturday.

A banner, reading “Abolish Digital Security Act and all kinds of censorship”, was also placed on the spot.

Bangladesh Students Union Dhaka University unit President Shimul Kumbhkaar said: “We have reinstalled the vandalised sculpture. It is a protest against repression and censorship. We have also placed two banners.”

“We want to keep the sculpture in the place till the end of the Book Fair,” he added.

About the re-installation, varsity Proctor, Professor A.K.M. Golam Rabbani said: “The sculpture was removed because it was illegal. We request students to remove it. They should not do anything that disrupts the normal course of education.”

Earlier, he said that they could not take the responsibility for Tagore’s broken sculpture which was found at Suhrawardy Udyan.

Rabbani said: “We always encourage sculpture as a symbol of movements and struggles. If a sculpture needs to be installed on the Dhaka University campus, it should be installed following a proper formal procedure.”

“We did not know who erected the sculpture. I learnt about this after removing the sculpture. No one was found when we removed the sculpture. This type of sculpture fits well in a park so we placed it at the Suhrawardy Udyan within the university boundaries. If someone breaks it, we can’t take responsibility for this,” he added.

In the sculpture, Rabindranath Tagore’s mouth was taped shut and a book in his hand was closed and nailed as a symbol of protest.

Students complained that the sculpture had been missing since Thursday morning.

The spot where the sculpture was placed later had a banner reading “Gum Hoye Gachhe Rabindranath (Rabindranath has been forcibly disappeared)”.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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